Ticket to Ride Review

Ticket to Ride

Continuing with my recent theme of Days of Wonder games, its time to review Ticket to Ride.

In Ticket to Ride, each player is attempting to build the most well rounded network of railroads by connecting various cities together. On any given turn a player can draw train cards for use in building railroads later, they can build a connection from one city to another if they have the appropriate number of matching train cards, or they can draw new "Destination cards" which will give them two cities that they can score points for connecting.

Ticket to Ride has several pro's and con's. The first pro is that the game is incredibly easy to learn. In fact, the instructions are 2 pages front and back (with a lot of pictures). This game could easily be taught to any level of board gamer, and would even be ideal to play with younger children (Days of Wonder recommends age 8+).  This is nice, because the number of board games that actually include strategy but are able to play with younger children is somewhat limited.

Another pro is that Ticket to Ride is fairly fast paced and engaging. Each turn goes pretty quickly, and so there are not the long pauses in between turns where players can get disengaged.  This is another thing that makes Ticket to Ride work well with all ages from 8 through adults with limited attention spans.

However, the ease of learning Ticket to Ride has unfortunately come with a con - the strategy is somewhat limited. Since the number of available actions is so small, the overall strategies in the game are not very numerous, so it can quickly feel like you are playing the game the same way every time.  The basic strategies primarily lie in when to build railroads and when to wait, and occasionally in when to draw new destination cards.

Overall, I give Ticket to Ride a 7.0/10. It was very enjoyable when I first learned to play it, but I felt that the replayability was a bit low. (I realize that many people will disagree with both the rating and the replayability, and they should feel free to comment - please, just be tactful when leaving comments.) This is a game that I would recommend playing two or three times, and if you still enjoy it purchasing the game at that point if possible, instead of purchasing it up front.  If you are looking for a high quality child friendly game, Ticket to Ride should be near the top of your list.


  1. This is one of my favorite games for the exact reasons you labeled as "pro". Another pro is quick setup (take down is a little slower). I can't argue with the cons, they're there, it's true, so if this is the only board game you ever play, you'll burn out quick.

    However I would stress the ease of teaching and playing this game. However children aside, if you don't have "board game friends" or frankly friends who just aren't really up to the same level in strategy play this is a good way to help level the field and not spend a lot of time on rules while still being more challenging then WAR.

  2. well, i quite agree with the con, at the end of the stage, me and friends end up busy draw card and store it and wait for right timing to deploy it, quite mechanical and boring thought... if only there is a better system to do it =(

  3. I guess it depends on how you define replayability. I find that many of the more complex strategy games, have the least replayability, because it's impossible to find people to play them multiple times.

    I'd also say that in our games, no one strategy has been dominant. Obviously there are advantages tossing cards, but starting your line one turn to late has cost many player a victory.

    1. LOL! I agree with you Scott! Plus I love this line "I find that many of the more complex strategy games, have the least replayability, because it's impossible to find people to play them multiple times." LOL!

  4. The replay value is not so low to deserve only 7 rating. I would give this game rating 9 or 10, because it is excellent game and the random chance because of card drafting helps to make this game fun. This is not a children's game, although it is easy to teach. I think, in this case you mess "replay value" with "simple gameplay" - the latter has this game, not the low replay value.
    The replay value of Ticket to Ride isn't as high as for Dominion (combined with expansions) or Agricola, imho. But it is still higher than of 7 Wonders or of Augustus...

    1. However, if you give Ticket to Ride a 10, then you leave no room for the other games (Dominion and Agricola) that you mentioned to have a higher rating!

      I know that many people disagree with my about Ticket to Ride, and I welcome your alternate opinion. However, for me, I felt like Ticket to Ride grew stale after about 2-3 plays, and so for me it truly had a low replayability.